The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning to taxpayers to be aware of a scam email about electronic federal tax payments.
The bogus email states tax payments made by the email recipient through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) have been rejected and directs recipients to a bogus link that downloads malicious software (malware) that infects the victim's computer. The scammer uses this personal and financial information to commit identity theft.
"The IRS doesn't send unsolicited emails to taxpayers about their tax accounts and doesn't communicate payment information through email," said IRS spokeswoman Jennifer Jenkins. "An unexpected email claiming to be from the IRS should be treated with caution. Some scammers are using real or made-up employee names, addresses and similar information to make their emails seem credible. If you receive a suspicious email, avoid malware. Don't click on any links, don't open any attachments, and don't reply to the sender."
The IRS asks taxpayers to forward suspicious emails to the IRS at phishing@IRS. gov. After the email and/or header information has been sent to the IRS, delete the original email message.
Taxpayers who suspect a website has falsely represented itself as affiliated with the IRS are requested to report the website by sending the URL of the site to phishing@IRS. gov, using "Suspicious website" as the email subject line.
Any taxpayers who responded to the EFTPS or other tax-related scam and who believe they may have become the victim of identity theft should review the identity theft information on the official IRS website, www. IRS.gov, and report the incident.
For more information about identity theft – including information about how to report identity theft, phishing and related fraudulent activity – visit the IRS website's Identity Theft and Your Tax Records page, which can be found by searching "Identity Theft" from the home page on www.IRS.gov.